Taliesin West, a Senior Citizen Travel Destination

Oct 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, “Our new desert camp belonged to the Arizona desert as though it had stood there SINCE CREATION.”  That’s Taliesin West,a favorite travel destination for senior citizens.  

Acclaimed as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s (FLW) greatest masterpieces, Taliesin West(TW – pronounced: tal-ee-ess-in) showcases Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. Taliesin is Welsh for “shining brow” as Wright wanted no building to be built on the top of a hill but rather into the side or brow.  It showed his great love for nature. No trip to the desert south-west and Scottsdale can be complete without a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, studio and school of architecture.

Today TW is one of the most popular attractions in Scottsdale. The Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion, Kiva, Garden Room and Wright’s private office are linked by dramatic terraces, gardens and walkways with tours that offer an intimate look at Wright’s architecture, life and philosophies on building in the fragile desert. Situated on
nearly 550 acres of beautiful Sonoran desert, TW is a National Historic Landmark and a mecca to architecture students and Wright devotees from around the world.

TW is considered Wright’s most dramatic assimilation of a building complex into a natural setting.  He labeled TW a “desert camp.”  The FLW school of architecture is called the Fellowship and alternates moving back and forth in a migratory pattern between Taliesin East in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Taliesin West, just as many “snowbirds” of today.  Learning by doing was the constant theme of Wright’s teaching style, and this philosophy is current today. TW is a living memorial in stone and sand to FLW.

TW was architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school in the desert from 1937 until his death in 1959 at the age of 91. His career spanned some 72 years.  He designed 1,141 buildings, 532 were built, 409 are still standing in 36 states and Japan.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation maintains its international headquarters at TW, in Scottsdale, Arizona. As the organization founded by Wright to be the repository of his life’s work and ideas and the first to bear his name, the Foundation is engaged in a broad range of activities to preserve Wright’s legacy:

  • provide opportunities for the public to learn about the principle ideas embodied in his work;
  • increase public awareness of the importance of architecture to society and the individual;
  • and stimulate a demand for excellence in architecture and design.

TW offers different tours, however the Insights 90-minute tour is the most popular. You will learn about FLW, his architectural theories, how TW was constructed and how he lived here during the winter months.

There is a lot more to learn about Taliesin West, and more will be covered on tomorrow’s blog.  Stay tuned!   jeb

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